Learn the Korean Language with Hundreds of Episodes of Let’s Speak Korean Free Online

What with the rise of Kore­an pop cul­ture over the past decade or so — the viral­i­ty of Psy’s “Gang­nam Style,” BTS’ rise on the Bill­board chart, Bong Joon-ho’s Acad­e­my Award for Par­a­site, and the world­wide Net­flix phe­nom­e­non that was Squid Game — the Kore­an lan­guage is now avid­ly stud­ied around the world. Back in the nineties, few in Korea would have imag­ined that pos­si­ble, and few­er still in the West. I vivid­ly remem­ber the first day of an extracur­ric­u­lar com­put­er-pro­gram­ming class I took in high school, whose instruc­tor began his lec­ture by say­ing, “Look, cod­ing is hard. I don’t expect you to learn it in two weeks any more than I’d expect you to learn Kore­an in two weeks.” Sure, I thought. But who would want to learn Kore­an?

Fast-for­ward 25 years, and — irony of ironies — here I am liv­ing in Seoul. Not only do I now speak Kore­an (with con­sid­er­able room for improve­ment, mind you), I pub­lished a book in Kore­an last month. In the seem­ing­ly unend­ing round of news­pa­per, radio, and tele­vi­sion inter­views I’ve sub­se­quent­ly had to give about it, I’ve often been asked how I man­aged to learn the lan­guage. There is, of course, no one per­fect­ly effec­tive strat­e­gy, no mat­ter what sub­ject you’re study­ing, but I do feel as if I received a lot of help ear­ly on by binge-watch­ing a show called Let’s Speak Kore­an. Orig­i­nal­ly aired on Ari­rang, Kore­a’s Eng­lish-lan­guage tele­vi­sion net­work, it soon made its way to Youtube, where you can watch hun­dreds of episodes that start teach­ing the Kore­an lan­guage from the very basics onward.

The most recent Let’s Speak Kore­an series, which ran for five sea­sons in the mid-two-thou­sands, is avail­able in this set of playlists. You can also watch ear­li­er ver­sions of the show made in 1999 and 1997, each of which has its own teach­ing style employ­ing dif­fer­ent gram­mat­i­cal forms and sam­ple dia­logues — as well as hosts and for­eign par­tic­i­pants in the roles of the stu­dents. I feel per­ma­nent­ly cast in the role of the stu­dent in my real Kore­an life, despite resid­ing here for the bet­ter part of a decade now, speak­ing Kore­an (and indeed writ­ing in it) on a dai­ly basis. It’s been a jour­ney, and like any attempt to mas­ter a lan­guage, the end is nev­er in sight. But at least I can look back at Let’s Speak Kore­an and fond­ly remem­ber that there was a time when I did­n’t know 은/는 from 이/가, 하면 된다 from 해도 된다,  or ‑거든 from ‑더라고. (Admit­ted­ly, I still have trou­ble with those last.)

Relat­ed con­tent:

Learn 48 Lan­guages Online for Free: Span­ish, Chi­nese, Eng­lish & More

Watch More than 400 Clas­sic Kore­an Films Free Online Thanks to the Kore­an Film Archive

How a Kore­an Pot­ter Found a “Beau­ti­ful Life” Through His Art: A Short, Life-Affirm­ing Doc­u­men­tary

How Kore­an Things Are Made: Watch Mes­mer­iz­ing Videos Show­ing the Mak­ing of Tra­di­tion­al Clothes, Teapots, Bud­dhist Instru­ments & More

The Writ­ing Sys­tems of the World Explained, from the Latin Alpha­bet to the Abugi­das of India

Let’s Learn Japan­ese: Two Clas­sic Video Series to Get You Start­ed in the Lan­guage

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (6)
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  • SuJen says:

    Thank you for the great ref­er­ence for Kore­an Lan­guage prac­tice. I also would not have guessed 25 years ago how much joy I would get explor­ing Kore­an Lan­guage and Arts. :)

  • Melissa says:

    Tru­ly, years ago I learn kore­an from here. Love it so much

  • Lavern Knowles -Lockhart says:


    Please teach me. I would love to learn and be flu­ent in this lan­guage and 6 more. Lan­guages like Span­ish French Ital­ian Por­tuguese Ger­man Dutch and Kore­an are great.

  • Sethu says:

    This is exact­ly what I have been look­ing for. Thank you so much, going to start watch­ing and learn­ing today.

  • Najal says:

    My name is najal
    And I like to learn many lan­guages like Japan­ese lan­guage Kore­an lan­guage and farce lan­guage what­ev­er I like to speak many lan­guages
    And my age is 22
    So can help me to learn lan­guage Kore­an to free

  • Najal says:

    So help me guys

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